Middle East

IDF warns civilians west of Gaza City and in Khan Younis to evacuate

From CNN's Tim Lister, Ibrahim Dahman and Tal Amir

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reiterated an evacuation order to Palestinian civilians west of Gaza City, in the north, and much of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the enclave to leave their neighborhoods for other areas.

The Israeli military urged people in eight neighborhoods west of Gaza City “to evacuate your areas immediately and move through Al-Rashid (Al-Bahr) Street towards the known shelters in Deir Al-Balah.”

It also called on people in five blocks west of Khan Younis to move “immediately to the humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi via Al-Bahr Street.”

Meanwhile, the IDF ramped up its offensive in and around Khan Younis, as well as in north and central Gaza, where it said troops carried out “targeted raids on Hamas terrorist targets” and thwarted “a five-man terrorist cell.” CNN cannot independently verify operational details reported by the IDF.

Remember: It is unclear how many people are aware of the orders, given the lack of internet and mobile service in much of Gaza. Thousands of people have not fled following previous such orders, for fear of being targeted while trying to flee or because they do not want to endure winter conditions without shelter.

CNN has previously reported on Palestinian civilians who followed evacuation orders being killed by Israeli strikes, underscoring the reality that nowhere is safe in Gaza.

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